PERUSING THE AT HOME AISLES

Last week I spent a few hours casually browsing the new At Home  (formerly Garden Ridge) by my job. About halfway through my shopping, I started snapping some pictures for ideas in the future. It’s always fun to look at products and use them for inspiration in my home.

7-11-16 Wooden Candle Holders

These wooden lanterns triggered me to start photographing my shopping visit. They are so warm and funky. Not sure if you can see it, but there’s a glass candle holder inside.

7-11-16 Glass Candle Holder

On the shelf below those lanterns were these wooden and glass hurricanes.

7-11-16 Gold and Black Votive Holder

I love these Moroccan-inspired votive holders that are painted a bright color on the inside. I’ve seen them in turquoise and pink, too.

7-11-16 Glass and Twine Lamps

Oh, the lamps! I could spend hours digging through these. The two that caught my eye are the ones wrapped in twine.

7-11-16 Wooden and Turquoise Lamps

I wish this picture didn’t come out so blurry. The wooden turquoise lamps were so cute! I kind of want to get the turquoise one, but I’m trying really hard not to decorate with this color.

7-11-16 Wooden Lamp

Here’s a slightly better picture of that wooden lamp with a too small shade.

7-11-16 Yellow Carved Wooden Hooks

7-11-16 Metal and Horse Hooks

There was a whole aisle dedicated to hooks. Look how silly that horse hook is! Could be cool spray painted a vibrant color.

7-11-16 Wooden Wall Art Trinkets

7-11-16 Love Gathers Here Sign

7-11-16 Wooden Signs

At Home has tons of artworks. Like, TONS! My favorite section is the wooden signs. Just look at that carved panel!

7-11-16 Canvas Print of New York City

I also love this canvas of New York City. I’d love to remake this with Austin.

7-11-16 Aisle of Letters

I was tempted to spell something out when I reached this aisle. 🙂

7-11-16 Modern Barstools

Look at these awesome modern stools. If they weren’t chrome I would totally buy them for the bar in our dining room.

7-11-16 Rustic Barstool

I like these a lot, too. They’re more realistic with our style, but they might be too bulky.

7-11-16 Rustic Chairs

These chairs are my favorite find for the day. Our kitchen has a bay window for a small table, but it’s still empty. I think these chairs might work nicely over there.

At Home has so many decor items and everything is so inexpensive! Go check it out.

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A LAZY SUNDAY AND A NEW COUCH

7-10-16 Sectional Sofa Downstairs

Today is definitely a lazy Sunday. I don’t think I’ve moved from the sofa for more than a span of twenty minutes. Speaking of our sofa… Last week my husband decided we should swap our upstairs sofa with the downstairs one. At the time I was skeptical. I thought the lighter sofa looked great where it was, but I have to admit our coffee colored sectional fits to room nicely. Once we finally add some color, it will tie in even better.

7-10-16 Fabric Swatches

7-31-16 Fabric Swatch

A couple weeks ago I posted about some fabric choices that will add color to our living room. Yesterday I received my swatches in the mail to test these bad boys out. This is exactly why you should always order swatches. While I still love each of them, seeing them in person is totally different than online. Let’s just say I’ve eliminated all of them. The large red and blue pattern on top was my favorite, but it just doesn’t fit our style.

7-10-16 Anthropologie Color Scheme

Anthropologie – Otsu Quilt

Decorating with a color other than teals and blues have proven to be a challenge, so I decided to browse through my recent pins to see what styles I like. As for design we both love this rustic Texas look, and I’m still obsessing over mid-century modern spaces. When it comes to color choices, I’m still at a loss, but I came across this subtle-toned quilt from Anthropologie. These colors remind me of the Southwest for some reason and that’s special to us Texans.

Who knows what we’ll end up doing at this point. This is just another snippet for the idea board.

PAINTING OUR BRICK FIREPLACE WHITE

7-9-16 Painted Fireplace After

My absolute favorite home makeover project so far has been painting our 1990’s brick fireplace white. This project took about three hours but the result changed the whole feeling of our living room. Now it’s brighter, fresher, and all around happier!

So this is the first project I’m going to backtrack on. I updated our fireplace about a year and a half ago, but browsing through these photos brings back all of the memories (and trials).

7-9-16 Fireplace Before

Here we have it. Our red brick fireplace. Although it was more grounded after we added the flooring (compared to when we first moved in), the dark red brick didn’t match our design style.

7-9-16 Herringbone Brick Pattern

We’ve talked about remodeling the fireplace altogether (we’re actually still considering it in the future), but I love this herringbone pattern in the brick. It’s a fun little detail.

I wasn’t exactly planning on doing this project. I’d considered painting it, but since we contemplated taking the brick out I had been telling myself to wait. Then one day when I was sitting on the couch and staring up at the thing, I jumped to my feet and decided just to go for it. Our walls are painted Stormy Weather by Olympic, so I grabbed the paint swatch and decided to go just a shade lighter with Quill. I told the gentleman at Lowes that I was painting my fireplace and would like the color in a glossy finish. He made a face at me, said it would look funny, and suggested I get it in a flat finish. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Paint Counter Guy! This was the first time I’d painted in flat, and I have to admit it looks great!

7-9-16 Whitewashing Brick Fireplace

My first thought was to keep the look of the brick by just lightening it with a whitewash. Here’s a tutorial I used during this attempt. After thoroughly cleaning the brick, I basically took a bucket and mixed half water and half paint, dipped a rag into it and wiped it on the brick. Then I took a wet rag and blotted the bubbly paint concoction off.

The whitewash had and interesting look and I didn’t completely hate it. But it didn’t have enough pop for me. Plus it was looking slightly pink…

7-9-16 Painting the Fireplace

Once I decided to paint the brick instead, I expected smooth sailing, but it did take a little effort to paint all of the nooks and crannies in the bricks. Also the brick acted like a sponge and drank in a lot of the paint. It ended up taking about three or four coats to get the whole fireplace covered.

Using a roller to cover the surface sped up the process, but you’ll still beed to brush in the cracks. A sprayer would have been mighty convenient! Definitely keep a drop cloth down because regardless of your technique there will be a lot of splatters. Oh and also keep Friends on the TV as some hilarious background noise. I might also suggest The Office.

Overall, I love how it came out! It’s so much cleaner now—literally cleaner! Dust and debris from our winter fires no longer cling to the porous bricks. It was such a quick and easy update that I feel like it was still worth it even if we do decide to rip it out.

7-9-16 Painting Our Fireplace Before and After

Our House Before We Bought It

We purchased our house knowing it’d need a lot of work, and it’s been so much fun! It’s always interesting to look back at where you started, though. Since I’m trying to backtrack our projects for my blog, I thought I’d share the pictures from when we first bought our house. Starting with these pictures from the real estate listing:

Our House Before We Bought It

House shopping was a real struggle with this one! The market at the time was so competitive that we probably ended up making thirty offers before we landed this one. I think we lucked out, to be honest. The listing photos were pretty bad and the house was looking rough in person, too. This worked to our advantage when we made our offer.

backyard 1

I fell in love with the weird backyard. It’s pretty ironic that the part of the house that’s the biggest head-scratcher now was what attracted me to it in the beginning. I have a lot of ideas for it, but it’s a big project. More on that later.

Once we moved in, there were several major issues that we addressed right away including:

  • Replacing the water heater that was leaking carbon monoxide. Yikes!
  • Fixing a few minor plumbing issues, like the bathtub knob and a couple leaky faucets
  • Trimming the trees
  • Repairing the siding that had rotted from the trees rubbing up against it
  • Painting the new siding
  • Having the exterminator come out to get rid of the mice and rats that had come in through the holes in the siding (notice a trend? moral of the story: trim your trees or bad things might happen!)
  • Having an electrician repair some faulty wiring throughout

These problems had to be taken care of right away, so we think a lot of buyers were deterred. But not us! We moved in and got right to work.

It was difficult for me at first, though. Normally when you spend a lot of money on house projects you expect to see a drastic change, but when it’s all under the surface there’s not really that aha moment you’re waiting for.

But a couple months in we started the fun stuff like freshening up the paint colors and replacing a couple lights.

Our home has come a long way, and we’re just getting our momentum back. Time to get to crackin!